The American choral conductor, Tony Ward, grew up in a former firehouse in a Polish neighborhood in South Omaha, Nebraska. His liturgical music experience goes back to fourth grade, singing English and Polish hymns with the St. Francis Assisi Parish choir. Throughout high school and college, he concentrated on performance and composing skills, but felt called towards directing and education. He took a part-time choir director position at St. Francis Borgia parish in Blair, Nebraska, and “found his life’s calling,” as it were.
Tony Ward graduated from Dana College in Blair with Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Music Education (1995-2000), and spent three years teaching music to intermediate elementary students at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Omaha (August 2000- May 2003). After a brief tenureas Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Leo Parish (2003-2004), he joined the Campus Ministry team at Creighton University, where he served for 9 years as Music Director for St. John’s Parish (August 2004-July 2013). In 2013, he relocated to Kansas City, where he obtained his Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music and Dance (2013-2015). Along the way, he was blessed with the opportunity to serve as Director of Adult Choirs at Atonement Lutheran Church in Overland Park, Kansas (October 2013-July 2015). He designed promotional art for several arts organizations in the Kansas City area, including the Kansas City Women's Chorus, Te Deum, and the choral department at UMKC. In 2015, he relocated to Madison, Wisconsin, and most recently served the people of Bethel Lutheran Church as Director of Music and Worship (August 2015-March 2017).
Tony Ward's “journey in the arts” took him through stints in opera (Opera Omaha: 2004-2007), community theater, classical radio, and voiceover work. As a composer and arranger of liturgical music, he has been blessed to collaborate on projects such as the St. Louis Jesuits’ 2005 album, "Morning Light"; priestly ordinations in the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus; and original works for the Heartland/Delta V Conference at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio in 2007. In 2008, he entered the ranks of the published when OCP released “Spirit of Our God,” and he released an album, "Spirit and Life"; In 2009, he took his first spin as a clinician, conducting the annual Youth Choral Clinic for the Archdiocese of Omaha, and conducted the St. Louis Jesuits concert at Omaha’s Holland Performing Arts Center.
Liturgical art has also been a significant part of his life's work. Tony Ward was honored to provide cover art for the 2017-2019 editions of World Library Publications' Living the Word series, and to serve as a contributing artist for J.S. Paluch Co. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the Liturgical Composers Forum.
Tony Ward is married to Jenny Ward since February 10, 2001, and they have four children. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin,